You vs. the Beer Belly: 4 Ways to Stop Gaining Weight When You Diet

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By Jack Day

Diets and workout plans are like opinions, everybody has one. If dieting were as easy as giving your opinion, then all of us men would be lean, mean, getting the girl of our dreams, type of guys. At some point in our lives we wake up and realize we have to take dieting and exercise seriously. Like many Americans who diet and exercise to lose weight (about 108 million) and don’t want to die of a heart attack, I’ve been down this path several times.

Statistically, people who diet, gain weight. Eleven pounds for every diet to be exact. This is discouraging, considering most of us tread down this road with the purpose of landing that dream chick that started a week ago in the Marketing Department. It’s to the point that many of us, well most of us, can’t handle the stress that comes with dieting and the will-power needed to maintain the pounds we actually do lose. Now while I don’t have the resources to test the gazillion diet and exercise plans that exist, I do have some guidelines regarding the things you should avoid to keep that weight off and possibly get the digits of that oh so sexy new colleague.

#1) Take Your Time

The first drawback we face is the way we view what a diet is. If you’re one of those who believe it’s a sprint to the finish line, well you’re dead wrong. Take your time, literally. Eating slowly is believed to help get the message to your brain that you are actually full. I grew up feeling that if I didn’t finish my meal quickly, I might lose it somehow. Now that I know that, I’m actually keeping it longer than I could have ever imagined.

#2) Debunk the Myths

Another mistake we make as dieters is our dependence on willpower. Dieting is a science, and like any elementary grade child we need to study if we want to pass the final exam. Certain foods that are low fat, high carbs and/or sugary raise our hunger levels rather than diminish them. Luckily for us, we have professionals that have done the studying for us. So if you want to pass this ultimate test, the recommendations are to A) Eat enough to satisfy your appetite, B) Eat proteins for breakfast and C) Make sure your meals include non-starchy carbs (vegetables and fruits).

Take a break from eating those low-fat foods if you want to keep the pounds off. That’s right, all that low-fat food we’ve been seeing on our local supermarkets over the past two decades have proven to be more hype than fact. Harvard scientist (that’s right, he’s from Harvard, so it must be true), Walter Willet found that it’s the sugar that makes us fat. So it’s ok to eat fat, as long as it’s the good fat, which actually helps you to feel fuller and speeds your metabolism. These are found in vegetables like avocados and nuts and in meats like chicken and certain fish.

#3) Never Skip a Meal

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably skipped a meal and felt like you did your body some justice. This attitude has proven to be a diet killer. Doctors everywhere will tell you this is counter-productive to your diet as the body tends to go into starvation mode, instead of burn calorie mode. A good breakfast can actually help you maintain your metabolism in burning fats and help you feel full all the way until lunchtime.

#4) Don’t Abuse the Booze

Speaking of lunchtime, it’s about time you reach out to the new hottie in Marketing. If she likes your flow and your game speaks leaps and bounds louder than your beer belly, then she’ll be thrilled that you’re doing something about it. As the player men that we are however, we fall into our worst pitfall yet… we drink and buy her drinks.

Now she appears to have an amazing body, so the drinks she embezzles from your wallet don’t appear to be doing her harm, but the beers that you guzzle thinking you’re impressing her with how much you handle before you fall shit-faced into oblivion aren’t helping your diet at all. Even light beers have 110 calories per 12 ounces. Luckily for me, I switched to hard liquor and was drinking cognac some time before our encounter. I found that I haven’t been able to finish 12 ounces of cognac in a single night and on the plus side, the girl in Marketing was actually impressed that I drank something so, so… what’s the word I’m looking for? Uuuummm…. Manly! She was impressed!

I was pleased and now I’m even happier to recommend this last bit of advice to all men dieters. If you want to keep those pounds off, eat slowly, stay away from low-fat foods, find your manly drink, ask the new chick at your job out, and remember science is stronger than willpower.

Now unless the only excuse left to maintain that gut is that your girlfriend has one too, let us know what tips you have to keep those extra pounds where they belong… on someone else.